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Rolex Submariner

Used Rolex Submariner

The Submariner was first launched in 1953. The model comes in Oystersteel, white & yellow gold, & two-tone with date or no date. Made famous by James Bond films, this sports watch has a 40mm or 41mm case size & dive watch functions. The 2020 retail price starts at $8,100. To view our full list of models available visit our pre-owned Rolex watches for sale page.

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Mens Rolex Submariner Black 1680 Unpolished Case, Warm Patina
40MM Black Dial, Circa 1980

Rolex Submariner Serti 16613 Serti Champagne Dial, Blue Bezel
Two Tone Oyster, Rolex Box (2005)

Rolex Submariner Black 116618 18k Yellow Gold, Ceramic Bezel
Gold Oyster Bracelet, B&P (2020)

Used Rolex Submariner Blue 116613 40MM Steel Case, Blue Dial & Bezel
Two Tone Oyster Band, B&P (2019)

Rolex Submariner Blue 16613 40MM Blue Dial, Steel & 18k Gold
Two Tone Oyster Band, B&P (2006)

Rolex Submariner Blue 16613LB Gold Thru Clasp, 40MM Case
Oyster Bracelet, B&P (2007)

Mens Rolex Submariner Black 16610 Black Dial & Bezel, Holes Case
Stainless Steel Oyster Band (2002)

Rolex Submariner Blue 126613LB Blue Ceramic Bezel, 41MM Case
18k Gold & Steel, B&P (2020)

Rolex Submariner Black 16610 Black Timing Bezel, Black Dial
Stainless Steel, Rolex Box (2006)

Used Rolex Submariner 16610LN 40MM No Holes Case, Black Dial
Oyster Band, Rolex Papers (2004)

Rolex Submariner Black 16610T Black Dial, 40MM Timing Bezel
Stainless Steel, Oyster (2006)

Used Rolex Submariner Black 16610 40MM Black Dial, Steel Holes Case
Stainless Steel Oyster Band (1996)

Pre-Owned Rolex Submariner 116613 Blue Dial, 40MM Ceramic Bezel
Yellow Gold & Steel, Oyster Band

Mens Rolex Submariner 116610LN 40MM Black Dial, Stainless Steel
Oyster Bracelet, B&P (2016)

Used Rolex Submariner Green 116610 Green Hulk Ceramic Bezel, 40MM
Stainless Steel Oyster, B&P (2010)

Rolex Submariner Black 16610 Black Timing Bezel, 40MM Case
Stainless Steel Oyster (1991)

Used Rolex Submariner Black 16610 40MM, Rolex Service Card (2017)
Timing Bezel, Black Dial (1996)

Rolex Submariner Blue 116613LB 40MM Blue Dial, Ceramic Bezel
Two Tone Oyster, B&P (2013)

Rolex Submariner Black 116610LN Black Ceramic Bezel, 40MM Case
Stainless Steel Oyster, B&P (2015)

Used Rolex Submariner Black 114060 Black Ceramic Bezel, No Date
904L Stainless Steel, B&P (2015)

Rolex Submariner Gold 116618 Sunburst Blue Dial, 18K Gold
Ceramic Bezel, B&P (2015)

Rolex Submariner Black 126613 18K Yellow Gold & Stainless Steel
Black Ceramic Bezel, B&P (2020)

Rolex Submariner Ceramic 116613LB 40MM Blue Dial, Blue Ceramic Bezel
Two Tone Oyster Band, B&P (2019)

Rolex Submariner Black 16610 40MM Case, Black Timing Bezel
Stainless Steel Oyster, B&P (2008)

Rolex Starbucks Submariner 126610 Black Dial & Green Bezel, 41MM
Stainless Steel Band, B&P (2020)

Rolex Kermit Submariner 126610LV Green Kermit Bezel, Black Dial
Steel Oyster Bracelet, B&P (2020)

Rolex Submariner Black 116613LN Ceramic Bezel, 40MM Case
Steel & Yellow Gold, B&P (2016)

Used Rolex Submariner Black 124060 No Date, Black Ceramic Bezel
Steel Oyster Bracelet, B&P (2020)

Used Rolex Submariner Black 126613 41MM Case, Steel & Yellow Gold
Ceramic Black Bezel, B&P (2020)

Mens Rolex Submariner Black 16610 Black Dial, Serial Engraved Rehaut
Stainless Steel Oyster, B&P (2009)

Cash wire prices shown. Prices may be higher if other payment methods are selected.*

This page contains information about:

Rolex Submariner History         Prices for the Submariner        Key Features        Rolex Submariner Models        Questions

New Rolex Submariner Models

UPDATED: Without a doubt, the biggest Rolex news of 2020 is a generation of Submariner dive watches that were unveiled on the September 1st launch of Rolex's model release. In the past, Rolex has been known to incrementally update its collections, first unveiling references in precious metals and then applying the design to the two-tone and stainless steel references. However, Rolex unveiled a whole new collection of Submariner watches for 2020, discontinuing all existing models and rolling out a total of eight new references, all with 41mm cases.

While the change from 40mm to 41mm may seem relatively insignificant, this update is big news for the Rolex collecting community. Since 1959, the model has had a case size of 40mm, so the switch to a 41mm case diameter comes as a serious surprise for a fair number of individuals. Accompanying the larger case size is a slightly wider Oyster bracelet, and Rolex's Caliber 3230 and Caliber 3235 movements.

Just as before, the brand offers the collection in stainless steel, Yellow Rolesor (stainless steel and yellow gold), 18k yellow gold, and 18k white gold. However, instead of the now-discontinued "Hulk" Submariner with its green dial and green Cerachrom bezel, the just released green bezel Submariner features a black dial, similar to the 50th anniversary "Kermit" model. Additionally, replacing the 18k white gold "Smurf" Submariner with its blue dial and bezel is a white gold model that features a black dial paired with its blue ceramic bezel.

Following the 2020 update, the collection now consists of the following eight references, and all of the models feature 41mm cases and new-generation Cal. 32xx movements.

  • Ref. 124060: Oystersteel, Black Cerachrom Bezel, Black Dial (No-Date), Cal. 3230 Movement
  • Ref. 126610LN: Oystersteel, Black Cerachrom Bezel, Black Dial, Cal. 3235 Movement 
  • Ref. 126610LV: Oystersteel, Green Cerachrom Bezel, Black Dial, Cal. 3235 Movement 
  • Ref. 126613LN: Yellow Rolesor; Black Ceramic Bezel, Black Dial, Cal. 3235 Movement
  • Ref. 126613LB: Yellow Rolesor; Blue Ceramic Bezel, Blue Dial, Cal. 3235 Movement
  • Ref. 126618LN: Yellow Gold, Black Cerachrom Bezel, Black Dial, Cal. 3235 Movement 
  • Ref. 126618LB: Yellow Gold, Blue Cerachrom Bezel, Blue Dial, Cal. 3235 Movement
  • Ref. 126619LB: White Gold, Blue Cerachrom Bezel, Black Dial, Cal. 3235 Movement

Along with the current generation of models released comes a slight increase in retail pricing. Official retail prices for the 41mm Submariner watches start out at $8,100 for the stainless steel no-date model and $9,150 for the version with the date complication. With that in mind, the stainless steel Date with the green bezel is priced slightly higher with an official retail price of $9,550.

Retail pricing for the 2020 Submariner collection increases from there with the use of precious metals. The two-tone models retail for $14,300, while the solid 18k yellow gold ones are priced at $26,950, regardless of whether the watch is fitted with a blue or black dial and bezel. The most expensive Submariner from the 2020 generation of 41mm watches is the solid 18k white gold model, which is accompanied by an official retail price of $39,650.

However, just like before the introduction of this generation of the brands collection, purchasing one of the 2020 models at a retail level will likely be impossible without at least some time spent on a rather lengthy waiting list. Due to demand far exceeding supply, these 2020 watches will likely sell on the secondary market for significantly more than their original retail prices. Second-hand prices for two-tone and solid gold models will likely be similar to their initial retail values, but the first examples of the stainless steel models - particularly the ref. 126610LV with its green ceramic bezel - are currently trading hands for roughly twice their brand-new retail prices on the open market.

How Much Does a New Rolex Submariner Cost?

Updated 2020: Rolex offers the Submariner in several different color and metal options; however the price of a brand-new, steel-cased, Rolex Submariner reference 124060 is $8,100 for the standard no-date version, and $9,150 for the slightly more expensive Submariner Date (reference 126610LN), and $9,550 for the version with the green bezel (reference 126610LV). Prices quickly increase from there, with both color options and the use of Rolex's proprietary, 18-karat gold alloy in their Rolesor (two-tone) and solid gold versions. To browse the full collection of Submariner models be sure to visit our collection page below.

The two-tone stainless steel and yellow gold versions of the Submariner (ref. 126613LN and ref. 126613LB) are priced at $14,300, while the solid 18k yellow gold models (ref. 126618LN and ref. 126618LB) cost $36,950, regardless of whether they are fitted with black or blue dials and bezels. With that in mind, the solid 18k white gold Submariner with the blue bezel (ref. 126619LB) is priced at $39,650 when purchased at retail.

  • 124060 date version: $9,150
  • 124060LN no-date version: $8,100
  • 126610LV: $9,550
  • 126613LN: $14,300
  • 126613LB: $14,300
  • 126618LN: $36,950
  • 126618LB: $36,950
  • 126619LB: $39,650

After making this decision, then a metal and bezel color selection must be made. Even if the customer wants a specific Submariner, there may still not be a clear value for how much a submariner will cost. The price list may display two different offerings for seemingly identical watches. For example, among the stainless steel, date-displaying Submariner watches, you will see a price of $9,150 for the all-black Submariner 126610LN and $9,550 for the Submariner 126610LV with the green ceramic bezel.

There are several different color and metal options which can affect the price of a brand-new model. To learn more about pricing be sure to visit our Rolex Submariner collection page.

The Rolex price range for Submariners spans tens of thousands of dollars, and this vast disparity can make it difficult to determine how much a new Submariner actually costs. Searching the Internet using key phrases such as, "Rolex Submariner price new" and "Rolex Submariner price used" will help provide a rough estimate of value; however rarely are these results comprehensive enough to differentiate between all the Submariner variations.

For this reason, we recommend referencing a price list when buying new, and The Guide to Buying Pre-Owned when shopping in the secondary market. Nearly every factor will have an impact on price, and prospective buyers should pay close attention to the details when shopping for a Submariner.

What To Consider When Buying

Let's say that after reading a review and doing some research, a customer decides to purchase a brand-new one for the holidays. Even if they use a price list for reference, the subtle differences between references may not be all that apparent.

The first decision is whether to buy the reference 124060 Submariner, or the reference 126610 Submariner Date. The date-displaying model will cost a little over a thousand dollars more ($9,150 vs. $8,100).

These two are identical in terms of size, specifications, and materials; yet one costs $400 more than the other. The sole difference between the two watches is the color of the bezel; however green is Rolex's company color, first introduced to the collection on the 50th anniversary "Kermit" Submariner that was released in 2003. Due to being both more difficult to manufacture and a premium option within the line, the green bezel version of the stainless steel Submariner Date costs additional $400 over the regular, all-black model. Additionally on the secondary market, green Submariner watches (from all generations) typically hold an even greater premium above their all-black counterparts, often selling for thousands of dollars more than an otherwise an identical watch.

The collection is the brands most popular and iconic watch; however the number of options available can make it difficult to ascertain how much one actually costs. Although the price range for Submariners is huge, it can generally be agreed upon, that a brand-new, stainless steel costs $8,100 for the standard version, and $9,150 for the reference with the date complication.

About Rolex Submariner Watches

UPDATE as of September 1, 2020:

Rolex launches several 2020 models including the much anticipated Submariner now referenced as the 126610 and 124060 in 41mm at $9,150 and $8,100 respectively.  Both models are now offered with the current-generation Cerachrom bezel and Cal. 3235 and Cal. 3230 movements. 

One of the most recognizable faces in the Rolex catalog, the Rolex Oyster Perpetual Submariner made its debut at the Basel Swiss Watch Fair in 1954 with the launch of reference numbers 6200, 6204, and 6205.

Built for durability and their resistance to water and corrosion, the Submariner is part of a line of sports watches designed by Rolex specifically for the diving community.

A Popular Collectible for Divers

When you look at the original versions of the collection – those gloriously pared-back references that are the blueprint of dive watch DNA – you can't help but wonder why so many brands thought they could improve on the design. When compared to the decades worth of imitations and derivatives that followed, the timepiece looks close to godly. Yes, there have been hundreds of truly excellent dive watches that followed in the footsteps of this popular model; however, virtually every modern dive watch was (in some way or another) influenced by the brand's pioneering underwater watch.

The model can be relied upon and has a proven track-record of more than half a century. It is a cultural touchstone from which all subsequent dive watches draw their power, and is arguably the watch that took the concept of a luxury tool watch and made it mainstream.

The Sub and its subsequent legacy has also transformed how the industry (and the world beyond) approaches dive watches. Although these mechanical companions were originally conceived as tools, they have long since crossed over into the world of luxury fashion and are now seen as internationally-recognized status symbols. This means that the watch is coveted and worn by many individuals who have never come within ten meters of a wetsuit, let alone countenanced actual submersion beneath the waves.

While this has been known to draw the ire of true divers and marine aficionados (especially because of the effect this widespread adoration has had on the price of vintage references), it has resulted in a very diverse product offering from a variety of brands brands that wish to capitalize on the mainstream fascination with the deep. So let's jump in and find out exactly why this particular watch has been the world's top dive watch since it was first unveiled in the 1950s.

Mens Stainless Steel Rolex Submariner

Watch 101 - Rolex Submariner History

Rene P. Jeanneret was a Rolex director, keen amateur diver, and the man that instigated the creation of the model He encouraged his company to make a watch that could function as a diving tool, and the timing could not have been more perfect. During the 1950s, interest in the natural world intensified perhaps, in part, to aid the healing process following the wanton human destruction of World War II. More and more research was being conducted in the world’s oceans, and the advent of SCUBA diving was in full swing.

When the watch was first released, water-resistant automatic wristwatches were still in their relative infancy. 22 years earlier in 1931, Rolex had released the Oyster Perpetual model – a self-winding ("perpetual") follow-up to the earth-shattering 1926 release of the Oyster case. The first reference, the 6204, was water-resistant down to 100 meters, which was remarkable for the time. Two further references (the 6205 and the slightly thicker 6200) were also announced in the 50"s, with all three available for public purchase by 1955.

The Rolex Submariner watch has remained a constant presence since it was first introduced, and it is now one of the most famous and desirable collections in the entire Rolex catalog. Although the original models were crafted entirely from stainless steel and featured no date window or options for dial/bezel colors, the collection has since expanded to include a wide variety of different models that range from utilitarian to flat-out luxurious.

While it was not the very first dive watch ever created, this was the model that set the standard for how a dive watch should function. Rolex refers to the Submariner as the 'archetype of the modern dive watch' and this title certainly holds true. Virtually all dive watches in existence today are in some way influenced by the Rolex Submariner model, and traces of its DNA can be found in throughout the entire industry.

How Much Is a Rolex Submariner?

Submariner Prices

Model Price (approx.) Second-Hand Price Materials Features
Ref. 124060, No-Date 8,100 USD $16,000 (est.)
Stainless Steel
41mm; No Date
Ref. 126610LN, Black Bezel
9,150 USD
$18,000 (est.)
Stainless Steel
41mm; Date, Black Dial/Bezel
Ref. 126610LV, Green Bezel
9,550 USD
$19,000 (est.)
Stainless Steel
41mm; Date, Black Dial, Green Bezel
Ref. 126613, Two-Tone
14,300 USD
$18,000 (est.)
Steel + Yellow Gold
41mm; Black or Blue Dial/Bezel
Ref. 126618, Yellow Gold 36, 950 USD
$42,000 (est.)
18k Yellow Gold
41mm; Black or Blue Dial/Bezel
Ref. 126619, White Gold 39,650 USD
$43,000 (est.)
18k White Gold
41mm; Date, Black Dial, Blue Bezel
Ref. 114060, No-Date (discontinued)  7,900 USD (Jan 2020) from $8,995 Stainless Steel No Date
Ref. 116610LN, Date (discontinued)  8,959 USD (Jan 2020) from $9,495
Stainless Steel
Date, Black Dial/Bezel
Ref. 116610LV, Hulk (discontinued) 
9,350 USD (Jan 2020) from $12,995
Stainless Steel
Date, Green Dial/Bezel
Ref. 116613, Two-Tone (discontinued)
14,100 USD (Jan 2020) from $11,495
Steel + Yellow Gold
Black or Blue Dial/Bezel
Ref. 116618, 18k Gold (discontinued) 
35,750 USD (Jan 2020) from $25,995 18k Yellow Gold
Black or Blue Dial/Bezel
Ref. 116619, Smurf (discontinued) 
38,350 USD (Jan 2020) from $27,495 18k White Gold
Blue Dial/Bezel

Used Price Information

The price of a new Rolex Submariner can range dramatically depending on the materials used for its construction. The stainless steel Submariner No-Date ref 124060 currently retails for $8,100 new at Rolex authorized retailers, but sells for a premium above retail in the secondary market at about $9,000 plus due to a supply shortage. The Submariner Date model 126610 retails today at $9,150 if you can find one, and again sells for a significant premium today at over $10,000.

How Much Is A Used Rolex Submariner?

On the pre-owned market, used Rolex Submariner watches start out at right around $8,000. Just like Submariner retail prices, the cost of used Submariner watches typically increases with the use of previous metals, and some rare and collectable vintage Rolex Submariner references can be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The Most Expensive Rolex Submariner Watches

Currently, the most expensive standard-production Submariner model is the ref. 126619LB in solid 18k white gold, which retails for $39,650. Retail prices for the solid 18k yellow gold models are slightly less; however unlike the stainless steel models which typically sell for more than their retail prices on the secondary market, most solid gold Submariner watches can be found at a savings when purchased on the pre-owned market.

With that in mind, it is typically vintage Rolex Submariner watches that are the most expensive, with the vast majority of models costing significantly more than the retail prices for brand-new Submariner watches. Vintage Submariner prices start around $10,000 for the least auspicious models, but can quickly shoot up from there into the six-figure range for some of the most collectible references. The most expensive of its kind was a vintage model that sold for over a million dollars at an auction in 2018.

The Most Affordable Submariner Watches

On the affordable end of the models price spectrum, you will find the models from the previous 5-digit reference number generation. Unlike the current generation, which features Cerachrom ceramic bezels and Rolex's new 'Super Case' design, these watches have aluminum bezels and cases that adhere to the original crown-guard and lug proportions of the collection.

The stainless steel Date ref. 16610 and Submariner No-Date ref. 14060 are the two most affordable models, with prices on the secondary market starting at around $8,000 and increasing from there depending on details such as the specific year of production and the overall condition.

Two-Tone and Gold Model Prices

In contrast to their stainless steel counterparts, the two-tone and gold versions of the current-production Submariner watches with ceramic bezels typically sell for less than retail in the secondary market. The previous generation two-tone Submariner 126613, for example, retails for $14,300 but it can often be purchased secondhand for a slight discount. The yellow gold and steel two-tone Submariner is available with either a black bezel and dial (126613LN) or a blue bezel and dial (126613LB) - also known as the "Bluesy."

The solid yellow gold Submariner ref. 126618 is also offered with either a black dial and black ceramic bezel (126618LN) or blue dial and blue ceramic bezel (126618LB), both priced at $36,950 MSRP but available pre-owned for a slight savings. Finally, the white gold Submariner ref. 126619 is slightly more expensive than the yellow gold version, with a retail price tag of $39,650 and a pre-owned price point starting at just below that. Only available with a black dial and a blue bezel, the current white gold Submariner replaced the previous white gold model, which is known as the Rolex "Smurf" in most collecting circles.

The most affordable two-tone and solid gold Submariner watches are also from the previous generation of 5-digit reference number watches. Prices for the two-tone steel and gold Submariner models start out at just over $8,500 and solid 18k yellow gold model prices start at roughly $20,000 and increase from there on the secondary market.

Additionally, Rolex also previously offered gem-set dials on two-tone and solid gold Submariner watches. On the 5-digit generation they are set with diamonds and sapphires, while the 6-digit generation they have just diamonds. In addition to the material value of their gemstones, these special 'serti dials' are less common than the models standard dials and typically increase the value of a watch by roughly $2,000 over an otherwise similar Submariner model.

Green Rolex Submariner Prices

There are two types of Submariner Date models with ceramic bezels; one with a black dial and bezel (126610LN) and one with a black dial and a green bezel (126610LV). The green Submariner ref. 126610LV, replaces the popular all-green Rolex "Hulk" from the previous generation. As a result of extreme demand, the green Submariner Hulk sells for much more in the secondary market than its all-black counterpart with a price range that starts at about $15,995.

There's also an older version of a green Submariner that goes by the nickname "Kermit." The ref. 16610LV "Kermit", featuring a green aluminum bezel insert and black dial (similar to the current production model), which was released to mark the 40th anniversary of the Sub and is a highly collectible model in today’s market with prices starting at more than 50% above the all-black version of the same generation.

Wearing Rolex Submariner on Wrists

Key Features and Technical Highlights

While the overall design of the collection has changed slightly over the years, there are still vital components that have remained unchanged.

  • Bezel: when the Submariner reference 6204 made its debut in 1953, it featured a bi-directional rotating bezel. The aluminum bezel insert boasted 60-minute graduations and a distinct arrow marker at the 12-position, allowing for divers to time their expeditions with accuracy. Eventually, Rolex improved upon their original design and made the bezel unidirectional. This was an extremely important upgrade, as it allowed time to move forward only, never backward – a feature that is invaluable during deep saturation dives where every second can matter.
  • Waterproof case: when you are diving, you need to be confident that water will not get into your watch. That's where Rolex's patented Oyster case comes in. Rolex developed the world's first waterproof case and put it through one of the most rigorous tests of all time - strapping their waterproof Rolex to the hull of Auguste Piccard's bathyscaphe Trieste during its 3,000m descent. While the first reference available for commercial use could remain waterproof down to 200m, improvements made throughout the years have made the new Rolex 116610 remain waterproof to a depth of 300m.
  • Oyster bracelet: one of the most recognizable features of the collection is their patented Oyster bracelet. Throughout its 70+ year history, the bracelet style has remained unchanged. Built for durability, comfort, and functionality, modern Rolex Oyster bracelets come equipped with an adjustable clasp that easily enables divers to wear their watch over their wetsuit.

To learn more about the history of the collection, how to best care for your Sub, and other fun facts about this iconic dive watch, you can visit our watch resources page.

Evolution of Rolex Submariner Models

A Watch For Professional Underwater Use

To underpin the more commercial model's pedigree, the brand created a concept dive watch in September 1953. This unique design (which would heavily influence the first Deep-Sea Special seven years later in 1960) was strapped to the outside of Swiss Oceanographer Auguste Piccard's submersible (the Bathyscaphe) and dived down to 3,131.8 meters, before returning to the surface unaffected by its adventure. This added further weight to the brands name and gave the collection an esteemed footing from which to dominate the market.

A real storm of interest was generated by the extreme testing to which the company submitted their newest timepiece and other, specially-created diving instruments designed more for the sake of research than public consumption. Several previously unseen feats were communicated to the public including these new watches surviving at least 132 separate dives of between 12 and 60 meters over 5 months.

Making this accomplishment even more impressive was the fact that many of these dives were conducted with the crown pulled out to the time-setting position. No sign of water ingress occurred during any of these dives. When other brands were tested under the same conditions, this was not the case. This proved its superiority and did wonders for its international reputation. To double down on these claims, the original models watches were attached to a cord and lowered to 120 meters below the sea. Although this was a full 20 meters beyond the depth rating of the watches, no signs of damage were recorded.

A huge amount of credit must fall at the threads of Rolex's Twinlock (and later Triplock) crown system, which was revolutionary at the time and remains an unquestioned market leader in the field of crown technology. The Twinlock crown was a huge upgrade for the already-famous Oyster case, adding a pair of rubber gaskets to the crown itself, as well as to the crown tube. This provided a watertight seal even when the crown was left unscrewed (as witnessed during the dive tests). When screwed down, the Twinlock crown system was incredibly secure.

James Bond and the Rolex Submariner

As impressive as these endeavors may have been, the collection didn't filter into the public consciousness until it popped up on the wrist of everyone's favorite spy, James Bond. Sean Connery was seen sporting the reference 6538 (which belonged to director Albert Broccoli) during Dr. No in 1962.

The 1960s proved to be a seminal decade for design. With the debut of highly regarded references such as the 5512 (1959), and 5513 (1962), the iconic crown guards made their first appearance and earned their stripes. These protective flares on the right-hand side of the case accompanied an increased case diameter of 40mm.

The Rolex Submariner Date

1966 saw the release of reference 1680, which was the first to feature a date window and the now-iconic Cyclops magnification lens. Following the release of the ref. 1680, the Submariner design varied very little over the following decades, with more tweaks being made inside the case and to the materials used for the case itself than to the overall aesthetic of the watch.

The Date window on this collection continues to be a mainstay in the brand's collection to this day. While the collection was originally intended to be a no-date watch, the displaying model is the most popular version within the brand's catalog, and two-tone and solid gold models are only offered as Submariner Date watches.

Rolex Submariner Technologies and Innovations

The Twinlock crown system remained a feature of the collection until 1977 when it was replaced by the Triplock upgrade that had first appeared on the Sea-Dweller dive watch in 1970. The presence of the Triplock is indicated by three dots beneath the coronet logo on the winding crown (as opposed to two dots for the Twinlock).

In 1979, sapphire crystals replaced the acrylic crystals used on the earlier models for added scratch resistance and durability. This new material upgrade enabled commercial Rolex Submariners to reach depths of 300 meters for the first time - a significant increase from the previously-listed 200 meter limit.

Amazingly, thanks to an irksome patent held by Blancpain, it was not until 1981 that one was fitted with the now-expected unidirectional rotating bezel. This vastly improved the functionality of the timepiece, and helped prevent the bezel from accidentally getting knocked out of place while underwater.

In addition to the various solid gold and two-tone steel and gold pieces, all modern watches in the line are made from 904L stainless steel, favored over the previously-employed 316L stainless steel for its better resistance to corrosion and ability to hold a higher, and more luxurious shine when polished.

Ceramic Bezel Rolex Submariner Watches

In 2008, the appearance of the model changed drastically. The aluminum bezels of old were usurped by modern, ceramic alternatives. Although Cerachrom (as Rolex called the material) vastly improved the scratch resistance of the bezel and immeasurably improved the material's resistance to fading, there was a certain degree of warmth and charm that many collectors prefer, which was lost with this latest update. Additionally, the lugs of the 2008 design suddenly bulked up. The older versions of the watch have noticeably slimmer lugs, and despite retaining the same 40mm case diameter, the thicker lugs and crown guars greatly transform the watch’s silhouette and increase its presence on the wrist.

The same year, they started using Chromalight luminous material on the Deepsea Sea-Dweller. The positive response to the new, blue-hued luminance saw it quickly applied to other Rolex professional models, further improving the watch's functionality in its intended environment.

Modern Rolex Submariner Watches

Modern Submariner watches are powered by either the 3235 (date) or 3230 (no date) movement, which boast the brand's all-new Chronergy escapement, which offers users a 70-hour power reserve, along with a hairspring crafted from Rolex's proprietary Parachrom alloy. The blue Parachrom hairspring is highly resistant to magnetic fields and external shocks, making it the perfect regulating organ material in a watch designed to go anywhere, and do anything, while on the wrist of the world's most fearless adventurers.

The Rolex Submariner has been constantly evolving since it was first introduced in 1953, as Rolex tirelessly works to refine and improve upon its original iconic design. With the launch of the current generation of Submariner watches, the case of Rolex's iconic diver grew from 40mm to 41mm for the first time in the watch's history. However, despite constant changes and updates, both inside and out, the Submariner watches that Rolex sells today still very much resemble to original pioneering models that debuted all those decades ago.

Common Questions

The Submariner is easily the most famous dive watch of all time, and it has consistently been one of the brands best-selling models for a number of decades and for good reason. Below are the answers to some of the most frequently asked Rolex Submariner questions.

How to tell if a Rolex Submariner is real

  • There can be many different ways to tell if your watch is real, but one of the best ways is to look at the details and overall build quality of the watch. This particular model is on of the best dive watches on Earth, and it should look and feel like one. If the watch feels flimsy or if it has any sloppy finishing or printing, then there's a pretty good chance that it might be a fake Submariner. Don't forget to check out our comprehensive guide on How to Spot a Fake Rolex, and if you still can't tell whether or not your Rolex Submariner is real, you can always bring it to your nearest authorized Rolex retailer to confirm.

Is a Rolex Submariner a good investment?

  • All Rolex watches retain their value very well, but the Rolex Submariner is definitely one of the safest options when buying a Rolex as an investment. For decades the Submariner has been among Rolex's most popular watch models, and it is widely considered to be one of the best dive watches ever created. Certain vintage models have shown an amazing ability to appreciate in value, but even the least expensive ones can be sold after being worn for 10 years for just as much (or more) than their owners originally paid for them.

Why are Rolex Submariners so expensive?

  • Like all Rolex watches, the Rolex Submariner is a precision luxury timepiece built to the highest possible standards. In addition to using only the very best materials, it is also a professional dive watch capable of surviving 1,000 feet below the surface of the ocean. Not only are Submariner watches beautifully finished luxury items, but they are also incredibly reliable and durable.

How to wind a Rolex Submariner

  • These watches are fitted with self-winding automatic movements, however they can also be manually wound through the winding crown. All Sub models have screw-down crowns, which means that before you can wind the watch, you will first need to unscrew it from the case. To wind a Rolex Submariner, first unscrew the crown and then rotate it in the clockwise direction. Since Submariner watches have automatic winding movements, you will not reach a natural stopping point, but after about 30-40 rotations, the mainspring will be fully wound.

Blue Rolex Submariner Watch in White Gold

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Bob's Watches is an independent watch dealer and is not sponsored by, associated with and/or affiliated with Rolex S.A., Rolex USA, or any other brand listed on its website. Bob's Watches only sells pre-owned watches and provides its own warranties on the watches it sells. The brand names and associated model names for Rolex, OMEGA and other manufacturers are the trademarks of their respective owners.